TEXT Jasmine Bible + PHOTOGRAPHY Brian Robbins, My Media Rocket
When Jenny Mitchell and her husband Matt purchased this classic mid-century modern home in Waynesboro, VA, it was like walking into a time capsule. “Everything had a pink undertone …think Calamine lotion,” laughs Mitchell. Purchased from the original owner, the home had been lovingly cared for, but was in desperate need of a refresh. Mitchell has always been drawn to mid-century modern style, having been an antique dealer with a mid-century focus for 15 years, before becoming an agent with Nest Realty.
“We wanted to preserve the original feel, but in a fresh and modern way,” explains Mitchell. In
the kitchen, the footprint remained the same, but every element has been changed. They enlisted the help of a Lowe’s kitchen expert, who came to the house for spatial planning and recommendations.
Together they chose quartz countertops, clean-lined cabinetry in a soft gray, Bosch appliances, and a white hexagon backsplash. The matte black faucet and cabinetry hardware lend a sophisticated and modern edge.
“When you’re attempting a low-cost makeover with high-impact, changing the paint color and
swapping out the hardware are my recommended go-tos,” shares Mitchell. The walls of the entire first floor have been coated in Classic Gray by Benjamin Moore, including the window and door trim. Mitchell adds, “Painting the wood trim really transformed the entire look. Some people are scared to paint wood, but there is no rule that you can’t paint wood. It’s had its day!”
The fireplace, which is a main focal point, has been transformed with Benjamin Moore’s Willow Creek. The stone is Tennessee sandstone, which has a decidedly pink undertone, and would have stood out in juxtaposition with the fresh white and gray colors. Perhaps the most striking feature of the home is the wood ceilings.
Originally between the beams was flat paneling that felt wimpy next to the robust wood beams. The Mitchells installed tongue-and groove wood decking between the beams, leaving it a natural wood tone, knowing it would bring a certain “wow” factor to the space. For furnishings, the living room features a mixture of vintage elements, like the teal and gray wool couch from the Green Valley Auction house, alongside modern pieces from IKEA and the Project 62 line by Target. The remainder of the home has been renovated as well, repurposing materials where possible, while retaining a distinct mid-mod vibe.
Our favorite element in the entire house is the row of Schoolhouse Electric light fixtures that
span from the breakfast nook through the kitchen. The bold visual statement feels both unique and functional, as the wood ceilings don’t exactly allow for traditional overhead lighting.
Take this as a cue in your home—is there a fun way to create a special moment in your house? An unexpected way that form can meet function? If mid-century modern style makes your heart melt as much as ours, harness the angular lines and minimalistic approach, and see where it takes you!